N-Grace Photography – St. Petersburg, FL

November 17, 2011

Nina sent in her interview in February of this year and between moving, traveling and living in our car for four months, and then having our own wedding celebration to plan, things just got away from us and with best intentions of posting this lovely photographer’s profile months and months and months ago, it unfortunately never happened.  And I am very upset at myself right now for overlooking it for so long!  Please forgive us Nina!

So, without further ado, I present to you Nina Barron, of N~Grace Photography, based in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Nina is the sole owner of her business and focuses on weddings, lifestyle, and portrait photography.  She is a Nikon girl, and shoots manual in not only both JPEG and RAW, but she also often shoots with both eyes open 🙂  She thinks that might be weird, but leave a comment if you also shoot this way!  (I know I can’t keep one eye closed for an entire 8 hour wedding day!  Plus I make really weird grimacing faces when I try to keep one eye closed.)  Her favorite actions are Kubota’s Magic Sharp, and The NEW BW Midbright.




Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I’ve always had a passion for photography but in 2009 I took a photography class and was so inspired by the professionals in the class that I decided I too could take my love of photography to another level. So I did, and that is what planted the seed to this idea of creating a business, N~Grace Photography.

24-70mm,  62mm, 200iso, 1/250, f/3.5

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

Be true to yourself.

What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?

Well, what makes anyone different? I think it is my personality. No two people are exactly the same and I’ll admit I can be very shy and soft spoken at times (which in my opinion makes me very different from most photographers because so many of them are very outgoing) however, I am so in love with what I do! I love capturing the essence of real life and real relationships. I want to capture emotional moments – the good, the bad, and the ugly – during portrait sessions sometimes you have the occasional disagreement between husband and wife or parents and children; I like to capture the real, so I may snap a few shots of your unpleasant expressions and hope that you will be able to laugh about it years from now. Everyone has a story and I want to capture it, the way it is told.

35mm, 100iso, 1/125, f/2.2

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?

Ah man, just one?! Her name is Vida Carson, (http://vidacarson.com/blog) I absolutely adore her photos!

One item you can’t live without?

I’m gonna go with the keys to my car loL

35mm, 100iso, 1/160, f/6.3

Your best bokeh image and why?

He is so adorable isn’t he? I don’t have any real explanation, I just love this picture.

18-55mm, 55mm. 250iso, 1/125, f/5.6

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

What a wonderful website! I think this is such a great community for photographers – to draw inspiration, meet other photographers, and learn some valuable information.

Favorite book?

“Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom – You have to just read it for yourself.

50mm, 100iso, 1/200, f/2.5

Favorite movie?

“Love and Basketball” (along with “The Notebook” and “Eat. Pray. Love”)

Favorite songs to work to?

I actually listen to Pandora as I work, on the “Amel Larrieux” station. So calming 🙂

35mm, 200iso, 1/500, f/2.8

Where do you find inspiration?

Blogs, Magazines, but for the most part as I shoot, I am inspired by the relationships shown naturally by the clients.

Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

My clients! I know this sounds so cliche but “without you I wouldn’t be where I am today” loL…seriously though, I mean that. The clients I have are the value of my business. They are the ones that support my business and I don’t just mean financially; when I started this business a year ago I was very unsure of how I would be able to succeed and of course I don’t feel that I’ve “succeeded” yet, but they support my work by wanting to be photographed by me and recommending me to others. They show me love by supporting what I do and I am forever grateful.

24mm, 200iso, 1/1250, f/3.2

Do you use a second shooter?

I haven’t yet, I’ve only used assistants thus far.

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Just send me an email (ngracephoto@gmail.com) I’d love to have you as a second shooter!

35mm, 200iso, 1/30, f/2.8

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Jasmine Star or Jamie Delaine

 What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through? 

I am still in the process of jumping through hoops. But the first thing I had to do was buy my equipment, which was a jump in itself loL I also talked to established photographers who were successful with their businesses and asked how they got started. Actually, I interned with a local photographer for about 4 or 5 months before I really got started with N~Grace Photography.

24mm, 200iso, 1/1250, f/3.2

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

If you want to be a photographer, go out and shoot, learn the basics (aperture, iso, and shutter speed), talk to other photographers, ask questions! HOWEVER, if you want to start a business, remember knowing how to properly take a picture is only half the work. You need to know how to run a successful business! Do your research, ask other small business owners, take a class or two on budgeting, marketing, etc. If this is what you want to do, understand what you need to do but remember to have fun 🙂

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

Nothing creative, sad to say. But I did just get this wonderful idea from Brian Jones’ (http://www.idreamimages.com) interview: connecting with my local jewelry store and offer a complementary engagement session every time someone buys an engagement ring! Thanks Brian 🙂

24-70mm, 62mm, 200iso, 1/160, f/3.5

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?

The only advertising I’ve done is post my pictures on my facebook profile, fan page, and website. All of my clients have come from word of mouth, whether it be from someone who is a fan or friend of mine on facebook or someone who has been photographed by me before. So I’m not really against advertising, I just haven’t paid for it.

How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?

Honestly, I just make sure I take pictures of them – pictures of the DJ in action, pictures of the venue itself, the flowers, cake, etc. I’ll get a card or contact information from each vendor and send or e-mail them pictures from that night with a personal note/greeting attached and my contact information.

24-70mm, 48mm, 200iso, 1/2500, f2.8

What does an overview of your typical work flow look like?

Shoot an event, start the editing process, blog about the event (about a week after the event) posting a few favorite photos, once all the editing is done upload the pictures to a private online gallery, contact the client, send them their products.

How do you stay organized?
My planner!
24-70mm, 70mm, 100iso, 1/800, f3.2
 What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Getting a bite to eat and talking about our love of photography, life, love, or whatever else comes up! Then going out to shoot! Letting our creative juices flow loL
Anything else you would like to share?
Enjoy yourself 🙂 If photography is what you’d like to pursue, then do it! Have confidence in yourself and your abilities! Oh and by the way, I know most people already know about this site, but in case you don’t Digital Photography School is one of the best resources out there for the “up and coming” photographer!
35mm, 800iso, 1/25, f/1.8